Summary: Reverb Communications is shown to be closely connected to Apple, leading to great doubt about Apple hype
Almost universally, Apple is believed to be liked by its buyers, who are really just a niche in wealthy countries. GNU/Linux is still a bigger player than Mac OS X because GNU/Linux has a wide reach spanning many nations (see slide at the top). Remember that Net Applications is paid by Apple and Microsoft, which voids the validity of its numbers that are US-bent.
Apple’s “evangelism” activity is not news. Apple folks like Guy Kawasaki wrote about it openly and quite famously. So, watch the following new report which connects Apple to a “PR firm [that] has been getting interns to post positive reviews for clients.”
Reverb Communications is an extremely successful PR firm that claims to have “first party” and “personal” relationships with Apple.
Another interesting side-story here is about Reverb’s relationship with Apple. Now, we don’t expect Apple to have caught the bad behavior of one PR firm on the App Store’s reviews. That would just be ridiculous. But we were surprised to know that Reverb had worked with Apple so much.
There is more in The Guardian:
Astroturfing – planting fake support for an idea or product – has been around the technology industry for a long time, but new claims have dragged Apple and the iPhone into the mire. The allegations from CrunchGear are that one PR firm has been getting interns to post positive reviews for clients on the iTunes Store. It’s disappointing, and likely just the tip of a big, dirty iceberg: I’m sure that we’re going to see more examples turn up very soon.
This begs for some important answers. How much of Apple’s notorious “fanboyism” is actually paid for? Apple spends several hundreds of millions of dollars per year on marketing. And to quote a blogger, “Reverb actually works with Apple, having done at least one TV commercial for them. Further, at least one of Reverb’s referrals actually came from an Apple employee. [...] I’m pretty sure confidentiality agreements don’t cover illegal activity, and what Reverb is doing here at least borders on fraud. At the very least it’s patently devoid of any scruples, honesty, and ethics. And PR firms and the people that work for them wonder why they are sometimes viewed as less trustworthy.” █